Wiener dog races celebrate 25 years in Lakeside

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There’s nothing quite like the eccentric combination of a chili cook-off and wiener dog races to celebrate the end of summer.

Lakeside’s one and only Great Spinnaker/Shriner’s Chili Cook-off and Wiener Dog Race will celebrate 25 years Saturday, Sept. 14. The event kicks off at 3 p.m. with a beer fest featuring 10 local breweries that will be serving up samples until 7 p.m.

Entry is $15 and includes a glass. Drinkers won’t go hungry with the chili cook-off from 4 to 6 p.m., where more than 20 different teams will compete for the crown. Attendees can sample the multitude of chilis for $7 or purchase a $20 complete meal deal for the beer fest and cook-off. Classic rock group, Gallos Way, will provide musical entertainment during the festivities.

At 6 p.m., the long-bodied canine racers head to the starting line for the highly contested and always hilarious wiener dog race. Spinnaker owner Rudy Heinle said the race averages around 24 dogs each year. The dachshunds go head-to-head in heats limited to six dogs, with the top wiener dogs facing off for the title of the “Fastest Wiener in Montana” in a final run.

“It still cracks me up after all these years,” Heinle said. “The wiener dogs are such characters, it’s really entertaining.”

Registration for the races and the chili cook-off can be done in advance or the day of the event. Folks interested in the chili cook-off are asked to call the Spinnaker at 406-844-2176 or Rudy at 406-250-7212 for more detailed information. All proceeds from the event will go to the Flathead Shrine Club.

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